Large Intestine Pose

Large Intestine

Exercises from the Archive

Exercises from the Book

Reference material from The Genius of Flexibility by Bob Cooley

Stretch Name Page #
Grapevine Arms 94
Kneeling Twist 128
Assisted Grapevine Arms 164
Inverse Kneeling Twist 198

General Characteristics

Meridian Muscle Group (MMG) Information

The Large Intestine MMG is a yang meridian in the upper body, traversing the anterior lateral aspect of the arms.

Large Intestine is balanced by Lung, a yin MMG that traverses the posterior medial aspect of the arms.

Organ / Meridian Muscle Group
Large Intestine (LI)
General Bodily Area
Outside of Arms, Neck, & Shoulders
Associated Tissue / Functioning
Venous Blood Flow
Associated Bodily System
Organ / Meridian Muscle Group
Large Intestine (LI)
General Bodily Area
Outside of Arms, Neck, & Shoulders
Associated Tissue / Functioning
Venous Blood Flow
Associated Bodily System
Cardiovascular, Digestive
Kinetic Movement Pattern
Catching

Associated Ailments

Associated Physical Concerns
Elbow, neck, tennis elbow
Associated Injuries
Upper back, shoulder posture, swimmers shoulder, shoulder external rotation, shoulder dislocation, triceps strain, surfers elbow, carpal tunnel, stiff neck, head injuries
Physiological Concerns
Problems with elimination, raised and tensed shoulders, weak grip strength, venous blood flow problems, blood pressure irregularities, hypersensitive skin on top of feet, frozen shoulder, dehydration, water retention
Associated Illness and Disease
Large intestine problems, colds, colon, constipation, high blood pressure, parasites, toxic poisoning
Psychological Concerns
Frightened, obsessive-compulsive

Large Intestine Muscles

lu
Pectoralis Major, Anterior Deltoid, Subclavius, Biceps Brachii, Brachialis, Brachioradialis, Flexor Carpi Radialis, Flexor Pollicis Longus, Flexor Pollicis Brevis, Pronator Quadratus, Palmar Interossei, Opponens Pollicis
LI
LU
ST
KI
PE

The following is a list of muscles associated with the Large Intestine meridian. Note that specific muscles are concomitant with specific meridians while some muscles are associated with several meridians. It is especially important to note that this list was created from: the exact muscles that acupuncture needles puncture through to access individual meridian points; muscles that are along the meridian pathways; muscle group agonist and antagonists; stretching experiences; trigger point theory and practice; muscle synergists.

Major Muscle Groups
Upper trapezius, levator scapula, posterior deltoid, supinator, extensor carpi radialis longus, extensor carpi radialis brevis, abductor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis longus, extensor pollicis brevis, extensor indicis, extensor retinaculum, adductor pollicis, dorsal interosseous
Associated Muscle Groups
Levator labii superioris
Large Intestine and Lung Meridian Muscle Groups

Large Intestine Meridian

Large Intestine and Lung Meridians
GB - Gall Bladder LV - Liver LU - Lung LI - Large Intestine ST - Stomach PA - Pancreas HE - Heart SI - Small Intestine BR - Brain SE - Sexual PE - Pericardium SK - Skin BL - Bladder KI - Kidney AP - Appendix TH - Thymus

Meridian Muscle Group Relationships

These are the balancing, opposing, and completing meridian muscle groups for the Large Intestine meridian muscle group (MMG).

Balancing
Completing
Opposing (Superficial)
Opposing (True)

Visualizing Your Muscle Groups

There are a large number of muscles in your body. Is there a way to think about them or visualize them in a way that makes them easy to understand? Of course. Here’s how.

Think of your body as eight cylindrical tubes, four stacked on top of each other, or sixteen half tubes. In your lower and upper body, there are tubes on the front, back, outside, inside and on the four angles in between. Each of those eight cylindrical tubes contain muscles in groups that go from your feet into your trunk and head, or from your arms into your face or trunk. Each of these major muscle group is concomitant with one meridian in TCM.

Balancing Muscle Group

Balancing muscles are located directly through the bone across from each other and have opposite directions of action. In Western anatomy, these same muscles are called agonist and antagonist of one another. Because the sixteen meridian muscle groups balance as eight pairs of muscle groups, they are called Balancing Meridian Muscle Groups. The balancing muscles are dependent on each other to make possible maximum shortening and lengthening movements, because as one side of the body shortens the other lengthens. But because both the strengthening and stretching of any muscle depends on the flexibility of its balancing muscle, the balancing muscle group is always the determining factor in developing the strength and flexibility of the muscle (assuming there is no unusual damage to the muscle group you are trying to strengthen or stretch).

The Large Intestine MMG is a yang meridian in the upper body, traversing the anterior lateral aspect of the arms.

Large Intestine is balanced by Lung, a yin MMG that traverses the posterior medial aspect of the arms.

The stretch length of the Large Intestine MMG is limited by its balancing muscle group's ability to shorten (Lung). Stretching the balancing muscle group increases its ability to both shorten and lengthen.

The target muscle group (Large Intestine) will stretch more successfully after the balancing muscle group has been stretched. If you still are not making optimal flexibility gains in the Large Intestine MMG, you will need to stretch and strengthen the superficial opposing muscle group (Pericardium).

Target and Balancing Aspect of Body
Upper
Body
mmg-cylinder-aspect AnteriorMuscleGroup AnteriorMedialMuscleGroup MedialMuscleGroup PosteriorMedialMuscleGroup AnteriorLateralMuscleGroup PosteriorLateralMuscleGroup PosteriorMuscleGroup LateralMuscleGroup
Target and Balancing MMG
Upper
Body
mmg-cylinder-upper Thymus Skin SmallIntestine Lung Appendix Pericardium Heart LargeIntestine

Opposing Muscle Group

The muscles that are perpendicular to one another are called opposing muscle groups (to be distinguished from balancing muscle groups that are located directly through the bone across from each other and have opposite directions of action). The action of opposing muscle groups is surprising. Their level of strength and flexibility govern the proper rotation of the muscle group that you are stretching. If your target muscle being stretched (Large Intestine) does not increase in flexibility by stretching its balancing muscle group (Lung), then you'll need to stretch the opposing muscle groups.

Large Intestine is a yang MMG on the back/outside of the arms. Therefore, the opposing muscle groups are yin MMGs on the front/inside of the body.

Stretch the superficial opposing MMG (Pericardium) to troubleshoot the target muscle group (Large Intestine). Stretch the true opposing MMG (Kidney) to develop the high personality traits necessary for optimal Large Intestine functioning and development.

Target and
Superficial Opposing MMG
Upper
Body
mmg-cylinder-upper Thymus Skin SmallIntestine Lung Appendix Pericardium Heart LargeIntestine

True Opposing MMG
Lower
Body
mmg-cylinder-lower GallBladder Bladder Brain Pancreas Liver Kidney Sexual Stomach

Completing Muscle Group

Completing muscle groups are the 'top' for lower body muscle groups and the 'bottom' for upper body muscle groups. The Large Intestine MMG traverses the anterior lateral aspect of the arms and its completing MMG, Stomach, traverses the anterior lateral aspect of the legs.

Target MMG
Upper
Body
mmg-cylinder-upper Thymus Skin SmallIntestine Lung Appendix Pericardium Heart LargeIntestine
Completing MMG
Lower
Body
mmg-cylinder-lower GallBladder Bladder Brain Pancreas Liver Kidney Sexual Stomach

Energy Flow Trellis

In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), energy flows from one meridian muscle pathway to the next in a very specific order. In TCM this order is called the 'energy cycle'. This order is determined by the depth of the muscles in the body and begins with the muscles associated with the gall bladder, with the next always being its balancing muscle group, in this case liver, and then on through all the rest. The cycle always includes two lower body, then two upper body meridian muscle groups (MMG), and then repeats two more of each. Ultimately all 16 have been completed.

In the energy trellis diagram, the horizontal pairs are balancing organs in Traditional Chinese Medicine, and they are also balancing muscle groups. The diagram also houses other secrets about the interrelationships of muscles, organs, and personalities. The MMGs directly above and below each other are completing meridian muscle groups, the same muscle groups above and below in your body. The MMGs diagonal from each other are superficial opposing meridian muscle groups. The superficial opposing muscle group's completing muscle group is the true opposing muscle group.

flow-trellis Energy Flow Trellis
Reference Material from The Genius of Flexibility
The Energy Flow Cycle — page 51
The Interrelationships Among Meridians and Muscles — page 55
Balancing Asymmetries: Keeping Yourself in Line — page 239
Keep Both Sides Satisfied — page 242
Troubleshooting Principles — page 252

Large Intestine Personality Type

The Genius of Perfection and Completion

High and Low Personality Traits

High Psychological Traits
Ambition
Completing, perfecting, idealistic, fair, principled, serene, resolved
Low Psychological Traits
Obsessive-Compulsive
Hypercritical, controlling, procrastinating, stoic, manic
High Emotional Traits
Friendship
I have many friends.
Low Emotional Traits
Depleted
I am not ambitious for myself.
High Spiritual Traits
Fairness
I strive to be fair.
Low Spiritual Traits
Obsessed
I can't control my obsessions.

Personality Group: Spiritual

Instinct
Moral / Amoral
Time Reference
Relative
Awareness
Alive / Suffering
Function
Reactive

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LI